In his presence

My wife – Meena – and I had this wonderful opportunity to meet and talk to Guruji for about half an hour yesterday (08-Jun-04). It was an amazing experience to meet the Master and to be in his presence.

First some background: For the last 2 years or so, there has been a deep yearning to give something back to the society in whatever way we could. We started off with contributing to organizations and causes in whatever modest we way could. However there was always this feeling that by donating money itself, one is really not doing a service……

About a year back, we got introduced over email to Dr. Prakash Vinjamuri who runs a wonderful initiative in Hyderabad called Life HRG. We took his idea, modified it and decided to donate banana’s to the poor school kids who attend the primary school predominantly for mid-day meals. Very quickly we realized that this wasn’t a self sustaining model, the school had more pressing needs like stationary items, cupboards, etc. part of which we fulfilled.

But the nagging feeling continued….we wanted to do more….we continued reading about other’s efforts in newspapers and magazines….At the same time, we had our second child…I moved jobs twice within a span of year and things continued to remain the same.

About 6-8 months back, I read about Agastya and was really impressed….I seeked them out and went and met Ramji and came back really impressed. We got talking and he suggested that rather than contributing money, we could do well by contributing by creating learning content in IT for their school. I did not want to reinvent the wheel and my search brought me to jiva – an initiative run by Steve Rudloph. Their text books are wonderful and I would recommend them to anyone who have school going kids.

Subsequently, both Meena and I met Ramji yet again and decided to participate more actively with their initiatives….however the timing was bad….it was summer, the school vacations were just about to begin…we were struggling to find time for ourselves and Ramji happened to go to US for about 2 months…..

Meanwhile, Meena, continued to work closely with Art of Living initiatives and continued to organize AOL basis courses in our residential colony……there were challenges on every front, getting a place, getting a teacher, getting a minimum group size to run the classes ………she was getting frustrated and decided to meet Guruji to find a way forward.

It was in this context that we went to the Ashram on Saturday 5th June to meet and talk to Guruji. Meena was not sure whether she would be able to meet and talk to him personally and she did not want to talk to him when he is with a big group and people falling all over him…..we did not know what to expect, we went a little early and waited near his Kutir. He wasn’t there……we waited and waited….and just as our patience was wearing thin….he appeared….he was apparently taking the course for part II/TTL participants ….. he stopped by and we conversed for about 2 minutes….no milling crowds…we had his full attention….and he said come back on Tuesday at 4….take an appointment …..we did that….and we were back at the Ashram on tuesday at 4.

Surprise! Surprise!!! there was a crowd of about 300-400 people waiting to meet him….and yet again…we didn’t know what to expect….we waited and around 4.15, it was announced that Guruji will give darshan to all…and he appeared and spent time till about 5.30 meeting, talking to people….we were clueless whether he would still meet us or is it this that he was talking about……we waited and waited….the kids were growing impatient…their patience wearing thin….finally at about 5.30, Guruji called for us and met us.

It was amazing! He is with hundreds of people and meets everyone and yet remembers the appointment and cares to listen to us and talk to us, encouraging us and guiding us…As I said earlier in my post….words fail to express what he means to us….and it will be meaningless for me to put in anything out here.

I leave this post with what Guruji said the other day…
“Keep your heads empty, hearts full of love and hands full of service, instead what we find today is that people have their heads full (ego), heart empty and hands have no seva to do”.

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